Inside money, markets, and big tech

Binance will let you buy Bitcoin with cash from 1,300 stores in Australia

It's called 'Binance Lite,' and it requires KYC

Binance says cryptocurrency fans in Australia will soon be able to purchase Bitcoin BTC from over 1,300 supported Newsagents across the country.

The new service, “Binance Lite,” marks the first time the Malta-based exchange has managed to open a fiat gateway in Australia. While it will only support buying Bitcoin at launch, press materials say more digital currency and fiat options will be added in the future.

“Binance Lite Australia further expands digital currency adoption by providing easier ways to buy [Bitcoin],” said Wei Zhou, Binance CFO. “Australia has been at the forefront of blockchain innovation, and we hope Binance Lite Australia can play a role to help further this cause.”

Merchant map courtesy of Binance Lite

Once users complete specialized account verification (read: Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering procedures), Binance says users will be able to place an order online, deposit cash at their nearest Newsagent store, and then receive their Bitcoin “within minutes.”

Binance has opened other fiat gateways lately, too, albeit in other parts of the world. In January, it allowed credit card payments through its global exchange for the first time, and opened markets for Euros and British Points. It even started an exchange in Uganda that allows trade with Ugandan Shillings.

Really, Binance’s mission to allow Bitcoin fans to purchase cryptocurrency with cash, in person (after “doxxing” themselves), is awfully similar to what’s happening in France.

There, “tabacs” are slowly supporting cryptocurrency by installing machines that sell Bitcoin for a 7-percent fee. Binance Lite’s site currently suggests Aussies will pay a 5-percent fee for purchasing Bitcoin with cash, in store.

While Binance is trying hard to pitch this system as “the easiest way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Australia,” it’s definitely not the most anonymous, and more than likely, not the cheapest.

Want to find out more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology? Check out our Hard Fork track at TNW 2019!

Published March 19, 2019 — 16:50 UTC